Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
I'm all about the sweet potato all fall and winter. There's rarely a hearty main I wouldn't pair up with the sweet velvety innards of these orange tubers, which bring instant comfort to me. Although I've done plenty of sweet potato recipes on the grill, I've never quite gotten them to the same point of perfection over the flames as I have in the oven. I thought it was about time I gave the sweet potato the attention it deserves, making it as great as it can be in wedge form on the grill.
To arrive at sweet spud serendipity, I tried out four distinct methods of cooking to see which would deliver the ideal characteristics I was after—slightly crisped outsides with a light char that gives way to a contrasting creamy and sweet inside. Wedges are my go to form for sweet potatoes to get the right balance between exterior and interior properties, so I started off by cutting most of my potatoes into the proper size and shape. I find it's easiest to split each potato in half and then half again to create quarters. From there I cut each quarter into three to four equal wedges depending on the size of the potatoes.
Half of the potatoes I oiled, seasoned with salt and pepper, and got going on the grill. I did two grill-only batches. The first I began by browning over direct heat, then moved to indirect heat. The second I started over indirect heat, then finished them over the hot coals once they were tender throughout.
As those two sets of sweet potatoes slowly roasted on the grill, I prepped two more inside. The first I boiled in salted water until they could be pierced with a pairing knife with no resistance. For the second, I microwaved whole sweet potatoes until similarly tender, which took about twelve minutes, then sliced them up into wedges. I've recommended both of these methods in the past, so I wanted to see if these shortcuts could deliver a result as good, or better, than the potatoes that were only grilled.
Both the microwaved and boiled spuds had a similar texture—the flesh was soft and little mushy. Just from visual appearance, I could tell these wouldn't have the ideal silky interior I was after of really great sweet potatoes.
On the other hand, those grill roasted tubers, which had now been cooking for forty minutes, had a dried exterior with a very soft inside—tested by inserting a pairing knife into the center of the wedge to gauge doneness. Side-by-side, the all grilled potatoes were already winning me over on looks along.
Things just kept fairing worse for the microwave and boiled potatoes, as they quickly charred over direct hear. Charred is putting it too nicely, they really didn't brown, but blackened, making what should have been some tasty pockets of intense sweetness taste burnt.
After moving the grill-roasted spuds to the hot side of the grill, they also developed some charred bits, but they were much different in texture and flavor. Since the roasting had already drawn a lot of moisture from the exterior of the wedges, this batch browned easily, even over modest heat. And for the first time, they didn't overly char, giving them a perfect grilled look.
The sweetness of the grilled spuds were heads and heels above the muddled flavor of the microwaved and boiled potatoes. Both sets of tubers done on the grill only had the perfect creamy interior with lightly crisped exterior I was looking for. The set I had grilled first before roasting had a very slight bump in sweetness, but were also a bit too charred by the end of the cook. Which left the roasted, then seared lot the winner in my quest for the perfect grilled sweet potato wedges. They had all the comforting warmth and sweetness I was after, and only got better when I gave them a light dusting of a earthy and spice mixture of paprika, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne that added a complexity that seemed to only enhance their natural flavor even more.
Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
- Yield 6 to 8 servings
- Prep 10 Minutes
- Cook 45 Minutes
- Total 55 Minutes
- For the Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and each cut into 8 equal wedges
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- To make the seasoning: Mix together paprika, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl, set aside.
- Place potato wedges in a large bowl. Add olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place potatoes on cool side of grill, cover, and let cook until a pair knife can be inserted into middle of wedge with no resistance, about 40 minutes. Move potatoes to hot side of grill and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer potatoes to a serving platter and sprinkle with prepared seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
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Diana Interesting.....I love nuking my taters because I have 2 pups and 2 kiddos....I like how my taters come out, I was just interested on what spices and/or herbs you use.... that is why I looked you up...%u2026.